Rocket Lab launches second successful flight

21 January, 2018, 04:25 | Author: Darnell Taylor
  • Electron during pad integration – via Rocket Lab

The Rocket Lab test launch of its second Electron rocket, called Still Testing, was close to lift off yesterday when it had to abort take off thanks to reports of two stray vessels in the area.

The four-hour launch window opens at 8:30 p.m. EST on Jan.19 (2:30 p.m. NZDT on January 20).

If Sunday's launch is successful, it will be the first time a satellite is launched into orbit from New Zealand.

Shortly afterwards, Rocket Lab announced it would be suspending launch attempts until early 2018.

Rocket Lab plans to hold three test rocket launches before it operates commercially to carry satellites into orbit frequently, at a cost significantly lower than its competitors. However, Electron's maiden flight failed to successfully deposit its payload in orbit.

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Prior to the December launch attempt, company representatives said they would only launch the rocket under ideal conditions, and that delays were likely.

It was live streamed on YouTube and on the Rocket Lab website. "Once again, we're expecting to scrub multiple times as we wait for flawless conditions and make sure everything on the vehicle is performing as it should", said Peter Beck, founder and CEO of Rocket Lab.

One of the satellites will take images of Earth for United States company Planet Labs.

The launch was later scrubbed as high winds passed over the Mahia Peninsula. The relatively small launch vehicle, only 56 feet tall, is catered to the growing demand for a rocket to place smaller satellites in orbit.

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